Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Popping in Again Today w/ a Quick Post-Weaving & Books

   Hi again,

       I needed to take a couple days off from weaving because I woke up a couple days ago with a very very sore right hip-felt like I fell and I didn't, and my right arm and elbow were hurting really badly as well.  Couldn't figure out what from-I did do a couple hours of leaf raking and bagging but didn't think that was it-then it dawned on me-must be weaving-repetitive motion and I am sitting on a vintage milk can for weaving. This milk can has traveled with my loom since the late '70s. Back then I was also 15 pounds lighter, and I can feel that I am stooped over a bit too much. Not sure what the remedy is-except to stretch and take frequent breaks-not weaving 4-6 hours at a time-what was I thinking lol 😀

    So when I got back from the food store this morning I started back weaving-I am just over the half way mark on the shawl now.  I did measure the length of the one I made before so at the half way mark decided to weave a bit of green alpaca. I am thinking the blue alpaca may have just made it but-barely-and I want to add lots of fringe on both ends of this shawl.  Now that I have woven a bit and now weaving in the green-it doesn't look as bad as I originally thought. I for sure would not have liked stripes along the whole shawl, but this will hit in the back area and hopefully bring an interesting look. Hoping so anyways-can you tell I worry too much??

    I was really concerned about just running out of the blue, so went with this. The green alpaca I have also paired  with the blue angora like I did with the blue alpaca so there is blue through out the piece.

I haven't woven for probably around 6-7 years and weaving nice selvedges is always  challenging. My left side is usually nicer looking than the right side-but I have been able to keep the same width through out the whole piece so far-that is a good thing, as it is easy to "draw in" the edges which is not a good thing After hand washing and laying out to dry I think it will be fine.

and in the mail box today I received a book I ordered last week. I was inspired to get this book after reading Amanda's blog post last week. I think my husband will enjoy reading this one too-and I found this hard cover for $5.00 free shipping

I also wanted to share a new author I just learned about. The first 3 book set was offered for free-so after enjoying the stories I got books 4 and 5 and preordered book 6    The series is An American in Paris by Susan Kiernan-Lewis. These are mysteries and I found the characters quite real, with lots going on, and I usually am surprised at the end on "who done it" I only guessed one book so far.  
  This three book set is no longer free but it is priced to end up with a savings over buying seperately.

Happy Easter and Passover Everyone

   It doesn't seem possible that these two religious holidays are upon us already.

       Sooo are you hosting your holiday dinner?  I was on the look out for fresh strawberries this week as I plan to make angel food cakes for us along with keto churned ice cream and strawberries for dessert.  Sadly when I shopped at our small Wal mart nearby the strawberries looked terrible. So this morning I went to the local grocery store near me called G2 which is where I buy our fresh meat now, and I couldn't believe it that their strawberries were in worse shape than Wal mart's were and these were their special for the week-very sad. I decided to check out their frozen fruits and picked up a mixed bag of fruits along with frozen strawberries. Hopefully those will be better than what the fresh looked like.

  Hubs was with a friend last week and was shown where a large Amish country store was located. I knew about it but just hadn't searched out where it was located yet.  Probably about 45 minutes drive from us-but he said I wouldn't believe it-it was huge like a regular hometown grocery store. So I am anxious to check this out one day. Am hoping they will also sell fresh fruits and veggies this summer for canning and freezing.

  I was looking for a small beef roast but didn't find one so I picked up a very small smoked ham instead. Will serve with a large fresh salad, and probably green and yellow beans-that I found frozen today. and our dessert. I will be baking up my farm girl Grandma's Yellow angel food cake recipe-we really love it, and using gluten free flour for my cake turns out really well too. So I will be baking up two cakes.


 and thank you's for the lovely slow mail in my box this week I am so enjoying all of my dear pen pals 

    Every day now, I look for something in my life, each day to be grateful for, probably since I am in my 70's now and reflecting the past, I am also working towards appreciating life more-mostly the little things. 

    Today I am especially thankful that my husband just received hearing aids in the mail-very high tech hearing aids. When he was in his late teens his ear drums had gotten damaged and all his life since he has had horrible very loud tinnitus in his ears, never silence since that day-I can't even manage keeping sane and not being angry at the world.  He just recently discovered a company that makes these hearing aids that pretty much eliminates the very loud ringing in his ears. Designed for the military, these also automatically protect your ears when a very loud noise goes off close to you. What a break through. He has them on now, making sure they fit right and adjusting things-but he is telling me all the things he can hear now-the furnace coming on, the coffee brewing.  I am almost crying I am so thankful for this miracle for him.

I picked up these pretty yellow tulips when I was grocery shopping-they were marked down since the leaves were beginning to turn yellow-I will cut those off soon and enjoy these as they fully open up

and we have been enjoying a gorgeous full moon over the lake the last few days, tonight though brings us freeze warnings.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Cast Iron Saturdays-Grilled Salmon

   I will be posting these cast iron blog posts on Fridays.

  I love grilled fresh salmon. My husband not as much because he said growing up his Mom made salmon patties, and grilled salmon and more salmon every week. I remember my Grandma on the farm would keep canned salmon on hand to make patties with. I do like those too. Now I look for a quality sourced salmon or tuna in cans to keep on hand in my pantry.

   I could eat salmon every week if I found fresh at the grocery store. So now when I have a taste for it I grill it up in cast iron for me and prepare Larry something different. 

 I have learned to always start grilling with the skin side down-I needed to remember to do this and it does make a difference. A cast iron skillet or grill pan is perfect for salmon-either out on your grill or on top of your stove-gas or electric. (I am learning to cook with this electric stove, reminding myself electric is just a different heat source opposed to over fire)

  I checked on the web for instructions on grilling salmon in cast iron and recipe ideas.  This is a really nice site  for lemon garlic salmon. I like my salmon grilled simply and I like the touch of lemon and garlic in this one

photo from this site

  I like this recipe too Brown Butter Honey Garlic Salmon-sweet and sticky

      This one you need to scroll down through different links but I like the idea of the browned butter  This link also shares sides and using ghee instead of butter, what honey to use etc.

  I think these are both good sounding grilled salmon recipes. 

   For sides a fresh salad, or fresh veggie in season steamed or grilled. We keep our meals very simple these days with less to no carbs at our main meal. I did find this site  on Delish with over 30 side dishes for grilled salmon-just click on the photo gallery for the recipes.

  How do you like to grill your salmon?

   As always you are always welcome to share a cast iron recipe in comments

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Good Morning Weaving Video & Progress

    Good morning everyone and Happy Wednesday,

I wanted to make more progress on the shawl this morning so was weaving for about an hour and decided-I need to play with the tie up a little more-on the pedals- so I can get the harness's on the one pedal to rise more even.

Success  I have to pat myself on the back for this as I am not someone that is good at figuring out puzzle situations like this. So I am happy for being able to figure out what I can do for a smoother-and faster weaving.

  This room is off the kitchen and main door to the house and has turned into a little bit of everything that didn't fit into my craft room or elsewhere-so ignore the messy background

This is where I found handmade shuttles, they also have other weaving tools and knitting tools that they make-and are all hand sourced from dead trees on their property or nearby 

   It's around 12:30 in the afternoon now and I have made enough weaving progress that you can now see what the back side of the shawl looks like as the finished cloth winds on to the front. This is really a pretty pattern

    When I was learning to weave back in 1978 in Denver Colorado the teacher suggested picking up the book Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison I have one of the first editions of this book and has been re published many times since.  Just about anything one would want to learn about pattern options for a 4 harness loom is in this book.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Seeds in Bottles & Buttermilk Biscuits & Loom

   Lots of wind and rain last night-so yep feels like Spring and March.  Over the weekend it was a little warmer with full sunshine. I decided to start making up some bottle greenhouses to start a few seeds.

   Here at the lake I don't have much space for a large veggie garden like I am used to having, but I am going to start being a little more creative this year. We are still waiting for the sewer project to get finished-they will be digging up some of the yard to do that so waiting on them to get this done. They started this project last fall.

   We do use allot of gallon water bottles for distilled water, which I use in our commercial coffee maker. This was designed to be serviced as it is quite a process to take apart-so with this one I only use distilled water so I won't have the lime build up.  I try to recycle when I can and making some of these bottles into "greenhouses" is perfect.

  I learned this technique from fellow blogger Carol that also lives in Missouri several years ago. I have tried different methods of starting seeds over the years and this is the best ever for excellent results.

I had saved 8 bottles and filled these with tomato, peppers, herbs, eggplant, and flowers, I will save more and start a few more herbs and flowers.

  Once the dock project is completed, and the sewer project is completed we can straighten out some things and hopefully start on my bricked outdoor cooking area this summer too.

   We had help over yesterday for the dock project so I made a big pot of homemade soup, apple-pear crisp (needed to use up that fruit) and I had buttermilk left over so decided to try a new recipe for homemade biscuits.  When I opened up the oven my eyes got wide and Wow  finally perfect biscuits. and I have never been able to make perfect ones. I forgot to take photos but mine looked exactly like the photo. Here is the recipe-a keeper.   and here is the photo from that site

I think what helped as well is using fresh buttermilk. I usually keep the dehydrated around that you mix up with water. and researching one can freeze fresh buttermilk so I will be doing that.

   Have an awesome day!

Update: I have been weaving for a couple hours this morning, and the harness's not going back down in place was getting to be a hassle-so I thought of a way to change up the tie up in the pulley system-and worked yeah  so I did a quick little video.  this room has turned into a "catch all" room-spinning wheels, a wall of shelving and vintage cabinets, and trunks with spinning and weaving supplies that did not fit into my craft room-and a big area of things to go through as well-so tried to keep the video views away from all the hodge podge of items around this room

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy Spring & Weaving

   So happy to have sunshine here on the first day of Spring. It has been a gloomy, cold, rainy week for sure-so this is nice.

    I didn't catch the sunrise but it was very very bright early this morning, as Eileen would say-diamonds on the water.

I wove a pattern of the green alpaca, decided I really did not want to alternate that with the blue for the entire shawl. I took that all out and wove more blue pattern I really love this better. I have 4 small balls of alpaca of each color. I decided that I am going to see how many inches I get from one ball woven-then measure the warp-I can just unwind that and rewind back on the back. I don't think I have enough blue for the whole shawl so if not, I think I will weave an alternate pattern towards the middle, I think I will like that approach better.

   I got just one more stick shuttle full from this first ball.  Some of you might remember that followed me on my original blog (that I now deleted) that I had splurged and ordered a custom pottery yarn ball-used by knitters and those that crochet. I thought it would be perfect to use winding the warp on to the warping board, and also on to shuttles.  I love handmade pottery, and when I found this crafter on Etsy-gorgeous work-I just really wanted one. I asked if she could use plants that I use here in my Missouri woods for dyeing and she said yes.  

the sun was shining in the window behind where I sit at the loom-so got a bit of a glare on a couple of the photos

Weaving so far, this organic cotton warp will get darker with use and age-which will be perfect with this blue. I always loved blue and brown together

I grabbed this little bunny I received from Barbara awhile back to keep me company at the loom

Happy Spring and Weekend Everyone

Friday, March 19, 2021

Weaving Update

   Happy Friday everyone, although today feels like a Saturday to me. I woke up with bad allergies do to all the strong winds I am thinking. Walking around with a head that feels like I drank too much wine lol

   I was determined to weave and get the pattern set up in my head with a few changes.

   I figured I would have a threading mistake-which doesn't show up til you weave-I had started the threading, then didn't get back to this again for 5 years. A major project to  un weave, and then un tie in the front and re do over half the threading-I really do not want to do that, although since this is a gift I want it to be nice but then I remembered that the Navajo weavings always put in a mistake in their weaving as their thoughts are that no person is perfect. This is really a project that just needs to get woven so I can go on to the next.

                        Can you spot the errors? to the left there are two threads the same and also to the right. This of course will carry through the entire weave.  If I was up to it I Would probably take this apart but in the end I think it would cause more problems with threads breaking redoing it all

  And then I ran into this issue, each of the three shuttles had breakage in spots-don't know why this happened-breakage from being on the shuttles too long, a mouse perhaps? although there was no sign of mice in the yarns or bag  Hoping the balls of alpaca will be fine.


I did 4 inches of plain weave will be on both ends, originally this was for making cuffs when I sewed this into a wrap but my friend has gained allot of weight so am leaving this as a shawl instead-decided to still weave this as a design feature. Not totally sure if I like it though. Thoughts?

  Below is where I am stopping for the day. I wanted to get the pattern into the green and will repeat this to the end. 

This is the first time using this style of shuttle, its a boat or ski shuttle I think it is called.  I usually just use the sticks. I must have picked this up at a resale shop as new these are very expensive and I don't buy much in weaving supplies like this.

I do love the textures of this organic cotton yarn

I am still using this old milk can that I painted up back in the late 70's. I never could afford to buy a weaving bench. I had wove the fabric and made several of these pillows for my Mom probably back in the early 90's, for her living room. I brought them back home with me when we settled her estate. Surprised they were still in such good shape.

Thoughts???-would you take this weaving apart and re thread the pattern? also not sure I like the two different colors the blue and the green, but that was the plan all along as there is not enough of either one color

Here is a photo of me with this weaving pattern I had wove,  turned into a wrap. I had it up for sale in my etsy shop for a couple years, I may put it back on there again  Some of you may remember this photo.  This was woven with the same organic cotton warp and I believe it had grey mohair and wool for the weft.  I thought perhaps this is no longer in style and that is why it didn't sell ? 
 I am not a fashion person haha

Have a good weekend all we are to be warming up again.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Cast Iron Saturday

   Those of you that have followed me for awhile know I love my cast iron cookware. We have collected several pieces over the almost 40 years we have been together.

   I had attempted awhile back to set up a cast iron recipe day but that didn't have much interest, but I thought I might try sharing more recipes again using cast iron, since I enjoy using it and sharing recipes.

  Of course you can cook, grill, or bake most anything in cast iron pieces-It was what was used years ago. Cast iron is my go to kitchen tool-I just really enjoy cooking, grilling, and baking in it. 

  I joined a newsletter at Cast Iron Keto and from time to time they send out recipes to my inbox. I have gotten some good ideas from them, some not so much.  We are not on a keto diet, I personally do not believe in eliminating total food groups but I do get allot of ideas especially for baking with less carbs. The older we get the harder it is to work off carbs so I do try out new things using keto sweeteners and nut flours especially. We limit our cheese consumption and don't use as heavily as many on the keto diet do. My digestive system does not like allot of cheeses even though I love it-so I limit dairy to once a week at the most, unless it is Greek yogurt.

 We enjoy Southwest Mexican type dishes a few times a month,  so I am always on the lookout for new recipes that are a little different. Some days I just don't know what to make for our main meal-does that happen to you too? With these types of dishes one can decide on how much spicy heat you want as well. I change up recipes all the time.

  I thought I would share  Keto Enchilada Meatball Skillet  this week.  I haven't tried this recipe yet but looks delicious and is versatile with ingredients. I like that this site will give you ideas for changing up the recipes.  All the flavors for enchiladas are here without the carbs. You can change up the cheese's or spices as well. note this is their photo from above link.


   If you are new to cast iron cooking-baking-grilling, there is allot of information on the internet. Lodge is still in business and has been around for over 100 years and has allot of information on their site. Here is there tips for cleaning your pans  
     My personal opinion:  Please only buy USA Lodge, or vintage pieces like Wagner or Griswold, or Le Creuset, or others that are vintage or from Europe. There are also numerous small USA companies making their own style of cast iron-many can be pricey.  Please do Not use China made-I have yet to see a quality piece of cast iron come out of China-it's just Not the same. Most of  my pieces were found at resale shops, garage sales, or estate sales through the years and do have a skillet from my Grandma and also my Mom. 
    If you are on Pinterest I have a cast iron board there started years ago-You can find me there under Kathyinozarks in Missouri This is my cast iron board link
   I have no affiliation with Lodge but they are still here in the USA are constantly designing new items and they share lots of information, recipes, how to's on their site here  It's a great place to start. 
    I also learned allot about dutch oven (with the legs-coals under and on top) cooking-baking  outdoors by reading old cookbooks that used hearths in the 1700's.

Happy Friday and weekend everyone-and if you would like to share a recipe using cast iron kitchenware too-just share a post with link in comments.

Bit of a Weaving Update

   I thought I would pop in with a little weaving update.

Yesterday on the way to the dentist I did pick up a can of the silicone lubricant spray but decided that was not a good idea to use with the loom set up for weaving.  So I went through all of the tie ups and changed a few things, and the harness's are working much better although not as smooth as they should be-but will be ok for this project.

I wove in a few cotton rags to level out the weaving space and just started with a few throws. This will be 4 inches maybe 6 inches on each end of the scarf I will decide when I get to the 4 inches. The yarn for this is the cotton used for the warp along with blue angora

It is late in the day now so will start back up on this tomorrow.

   Early this morning I made up gluten free and regular batches of chocolate chip cookies so am off to bake those now.

  The other day I had gotten woken up at 4 am to loud hail. One of my photos turned out

Lots of rain most of the day today along with a bit of snow flakes. 

  Happy Friday and weekend 

Cornbread recipe

   Good morning Thursday,

  Still raining here almost 24 hours each day since last weekend. Many areas of Missouri will be flooded for sure. Kinda early for these "Spring" rains.

   Several comments on my cornbread so I thought I would share the recipe.

I copied this recipe from King Arthur's Flour site back in 2004-I know because my page has the date on the bottom haha.  I was looking for a gluten free version of cornbread, as most don't realize that most recipes also have allot of all purpose white flour in the recipes. I didn't want that-I just wanted cornmeal.

   This recipe is no longer on their site unless they changed the name of it. This is the best recipe for us and is written for cast iron pans as well.

Note: I always double this recipe to get a full pan to the top. It says it is for 8" skillet, my square cast iron pan is almost a 10" so doubling the recipe works perfect for me

Not-Northern Cornbread by King Arthur Flour Baking Circle 2004

   (since this was part of the baking circle perhaps that is why not on their site, I used to belong to that back then)

4 teaspoons bacon drippings or 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or a combination of bacon fat butter oil.  (I use a bold olive oil)

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt (I don't use salt in any recipes)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup boiling water

3/4 cup buttermilk  (I don't usually have this in my frig so I keep on hand a dehydrated buttermilk power)

1 large egg lightly beaten

Decide what fat(s) you are going to use, and put them in an 8" cast iron skillet. Place the skillet in a preheated 450 degree f oven, and let the fat(s) melt and become hot while you prepare the cornbread batter (note: I start with a cold oven for this so the oils do not get too hot)

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk 2/3 cup cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/3 cup cornmeal and the boiling water, stir to blend. Add the buttermilk to the cornmeal/water mixture and whisk til most of the lumps are gone. Stir in the beaten egg

Stir together the wet and dry ingredients, mixing til just combined. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour any excess fat into the cornbread (I always forget to do this)  Spoon the batter into the skillet spreading it evenly over the bottom. Return the skillet to the oven, and bake the cornbread for about 20 minutes, til it's starting to brown around the edges, and the center springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertip. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the cornbread to a cooling rack-will slide right out (I don't do this I just leave in the cast iron pan as it keeps it warm for serving right away)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Weaving Project Update

   Good afternoon Friends

     I spent most of the morning today finishing up the tie up for my loom. She is now ready to weave. I need to look at why the harness's are not going back down all the way-the tie up down to the pedals. 

     On the last tie though I couldn't believe I had two very very short ends (yarn)-the last one. I knew this side was not going to be even do to a bit of shifting in the move, and when I glanced over all the threads before tying did not catch these. sigh-nothing I could have done at this point though unless I wanted to unwind and retie the ends on the back-nope that could cause more issues since this is a finer warp than I usually use. So I tied on yarn to those two ends so I could get it tied on.

     I use these soft denim strips to even out the warp a bit before weaving, it would waste the nicer yarn if I used it in this area.

   On this end of the loom for tying, I needed to cut the yarns to make single yarns

Getting Started-I work inwards from the two sides

These yarns will be the weft. The green and blue baby alpaca that my friend bought in Peru, the organic cotton and the fine blue mohair.

  These are ready to weave-to the left-organic cotton-same as warp with fine blue mohair, blue baby alpaca with the fine blue mohair, and the green baby alpaca with the fine blue mohair

   The green and blue baby alpaca that my friend bought in Peru when she visited, the organic cotton and the fine blue mohair. She bought this yarn in a small village after visiting the alpacas and their operation.

All tied up-front of loom

blue denim scraps to even out threads before weaving the shawl 

  While working on this I had our corn beef dinner and cabbage boiling on the stove with a couple small red potatoes.  Tomorrow morning is my dentist appointment for my broken tooth. It is at least an hour drive or longer to the dentist depending on how heavy the traffic is, so decided would be easier to cook today and we can eat left lovers tomorrow.   I also have cornbread and bean soup left overs I made yesterday.

   Baked in my square cast iron pan. Delicious.

  Happy New Week Everyone

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Working on the Loom This Afternoon

   I needed to re tie those knots in the back to even out tension-and then start rolling on the warp-slowly-with papers and sticks between layers.

   Feels good to get the warp on, I am about half way and my back needed a break.

 This first photo is looking sideways and catching a look underneath of the warp being rolled on. You can see the textures now of this organic cotton yarn

This next photo is looking at the front of the loom and across the warp threads. These lease sticks help keep the threads in order and they move up towards the back of the loom as I roll it on in the back. When I get to this point-I gently straighten out the threads and gently work these sticks back down-make sure threads have no tangles and roll on more of this warp

Update: almost there-the warp threads are off the floor now A few more turns and then these threads will be tied on to the front and ready to weave

A Journal Page-a Single Flower for AJJ's Theme & Snacks-Hail

   When I saw this Missouri winter scene in a magazine this month-I thought perfect for my journal page, and the theme a Single Flower over at AJJ.

   Most of us have had a rough winter and are waiting for Spring to be officially here on the 20th of March.  No flowers or buds here just yet but a single flower will give us hope and have us smiling.  That was my thoughts for this page.

The other day I got the taste for chex mix-so I picked up gluten free cheerios, rice and corn chex, gluten free pretzels, and gluten free mini cheese crackers. Made a few batches bagged it up and put most of it in the freezer. One batch I added these rice crackers to the  mix when I ran out of the cheese crackers

We have gotten colder with allot of rain-up to 4 inches already. A couple days ago one afternoon hail came down but melted off pretty fast

Happy Weekend everyone.